A British man with type 1 diabetes has been off insulin for over 16 months and doctors are looking into whether a specific “rare gene” is behind the success.
Last year we wrote about the remarkable story of Daniel Darkes, 31, from Daventry in Northamptonshire, who was told by US doctors he had a rare gene which enabled him to come off insulin.
A number of people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in adulthood have been able to come off insulin for long periods of time, and while Mr Darkes’ doctors are optimistic, it remains to be seen how long he can remain off insulin.
Mr Darkes has been free from administering insulin since March 2017. He says his rare gene identified by doctors is believed to be “recharging” his immune system and kick-starting his insulin-producing beta cells.
“The doctors still don’t know what this gene is but they’re pretty sure this, combined with exercise, is the reason I’ve been able to cure myself. It’s as if the gene is acting as a back-up immune system and has recharged my pancreas,” Mr Darkes told Daily Mail.
While it’s too early to call this a cure as Daniel has referred to it, his current health may offer a prospective insight into how similar successes in type 1 diabetes could be achieved.
Mr Darkes, known as “Miracle Dan” to his friends, was diagnosed in 2010. A keen athlete and former army vetera, he ran more than 60 miles a week and began to adopt a healthy diet high in zinc, vegetables and healthy fats such as nuts and oily fish.
The, in 2016, he noticed that his blood sugar was consistently falling too low. When he consulted with Northampton General Hospital, he was recommended to lower his lower insulin levels. His health improved and he came off insulin altogether. He has now been over 16 months off insulin.
It is known that insulin production can recover for a number of months following a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, which is known as the honeymoon period. Usually though, this occurs just after diagnosis, making Mr Darkes’ case unusual.
So far, the doctors have been looking into a possible genetic reason for Mr Darkes’ recovery in insulin production. However, it could be some time before we get the full picture for why he has had such success.
It is exciting to see that a seemingly very healthy man has gone over 16 months without insulin. We will continue to monitor the story to see whether doctors get more information.
Picture: The Sun

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